Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch – “The Glasses” (S5, E2)

Welcome to Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch! On a regular basis, Justin Rozzero, Aaron George, Andrew Flanagan, Jordan Duncan and Jason Greenhouse will watch an episode of TV’s greatest sitcom and provide notes and grades across a number of categories. The goal is to rewatch the entire series chronologically to see what truly worked, what still holds up today, what feels just a bit dated and yada, yada, yada it will be a great time. So settle into your couch with the cushions flipped over, grab a Snapple and enjoy the ride!

seinglass

Best Character

Justin: Shit, everyone was great here. I am going super cheap and picking a three way tie. Jerry had some tremendous lines throughout, especially his digs at George’s glasses and his exasperation over the onions and dimes. George was great too, causing all sorts of havoc for Jerry and being the butt of all the best digs. And, the K-Man came through as always, nailing some of my favorite lines in the show’s history and killing when he rustles up Dwayne over his sugar addiction. Great stuff all around.

Aaron: As much as I wanted it to be George for pointing out dimes, raccoons and eating onions, I have to once again bow to the power of the K-Man. He has the single funniest line in the whole episode with “May I have one of those Madam?” and his rant at Dwayne where he name drops Dinky Doughnuts and Joe’s fruit stand is amazing. Every time he enters he’s great, especially when he goes from gleefully singing about papayas to trying to save the air conditioner.

Andrew: I liked Jerry the most. He’s involved in every storyline, and adds to each one. He gets a lot of the best lines (“I think these women would be pretty good looking if they weren’t wearing glasses”, spotting dimes), but even the throwaway asides work really well (“He does look like a horse”). And while I’m not usually a fan of Suspicious Jerry, the patter makes it really entertaining in this one (“Let’s cut the bull sister!”). An excellent all-around performance.

Jordan: Kramer wins in a classic battle against George here. It’s like a 5 star classic match, where by the end you don’t care who wins, you just want it to keep going. But if I’m forced to choose and not go the route of picking ties like SOME COWARDS ABOVE ME, I go Kramer for two reasons: Best line and best scene. “May I have one of those, Madam?” is the best line and him going off on the eyeglass salesman is the best scene. A convincing win.

Jason: A hard decision here. All four main characters had their moments, but I’m going with George. His delivery when he mentions Kramer to Dwayne the Optometrist is great. We’ve all been in that situation when a friend tells you to mention someone’s name in order for you to get a deal on something. In addition, the plot involving what he can see and not see while squinting is funny stuff.

Best Storyline

Justin: The glasses, easily. Between George walking around in goggles and women’s eyewear and Kramer and Jerry zinging him left and right, there is no contest. Add in the sugar shakedown and we got a winner.

Aaron: I love panicked and wronged Elaine. So the slow descent into a rabies induced madness was an easy pick for me.

Andrew: I’m going with the Amy and Cousin Jeffery allegation. It’s got George spottin’ dimes and eatin’ onions, an excellent Uncle Leo appearance (“Like equals!”), and a great capper, when George finds out that what he thought was Cousin Jeffery was a horse. That last part really got me this time around. Maybe not a classic, but one of my favorite storylines.

Jordan: I feel like everything goes back to the glasses here. You could go with Elaine being worried about rabies, but she wouldn’t be if she wasn’t in the eyeglass store. Jerry and Amy was caused by George’s bad vision. It’s all because of the glasses.

Jason: I like the stuff between Jerry and Amy. George thinking he sees Amy making out with Jeffery,. Then Jerry trying to get it out of Amy that her and Jeffery were making out. Wanna get some pizza?

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

Justin: Dwayne should have just done a straight exchange of the Vanderbilt glasses for George and not forced him to take the blind man’s pinchers. He knowingly sold George the women’s frames, now scarf done that candy bar and make things right like a good small business owner should!

Aaron: If you murder a dog with an air conditioner are you responsible for any monetary damages? I say no. The guy should have just counted his losses and eaten his dog like everyone else.

Andrew: What’s up with the guy just taking off after his dog bites Elaine? Sure, there’s not much he can do at that point, but even if he wasn’t going to offer to pay her doctor bills, he could at least pretend to feel bad. You know, we’re living in a society! We’re supposed to act in a civilized way!

Jordan: Poor sweet, beautiful Elaine is SAVAGELY attacked by a wild monster, and the owner……walks away? No apologies? No scolding of the dog? Nothing? This guy is a piece of crap! And the dog now ranks below Farfle on my Seinfeld Dog Power Rankings.

Jason: What kind of jerk walks away after their dog bites someone? Not that I condone what happens with the air conditioner falling on the dog later on, but that’s some serious karma.

Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)

Justin: Jerry seemed to have a good thing going with Amy here. She even instantly forgives him for his weird ass prying early on and grants him another date. Plus, she is always warm…which means she is likely to strip down to cool off. As a former blind man that specialized in squinting, George should never have been trusted in this situation. Relationship Grade: Leopard/10

Aaron: I have no clue what Amy saw in Jerry. She’ s way out of his league. She should be with some big time drug dealer instead of slumming with a comedian. Relationship Grade: 35-56/10

Andrew: Skyler White! I had never realized before that Anna Gunn had been on Seinfeld. Amusing recognition aside, Amy and Jerry’s relationship doesn’t add much to the episode. Relationship Grade: 3/10 

Jordan: Jerry is the one who knocks…..on Jeffrey’s door to get Paul Simon tickets, then blows it with Amy. Amy should dump Jerry and date a dentist or something. Maybe Tim Whatley. Relationship Grade: METH/10

Jason: Back to the Jerry and Amy stuff here. Jerry shows that he really likes her by arranging to get an air conditioner because she gets warm in his apartment. Plus he gets her Paul Simon tickets. And again, Jerry trying to scratch it out of her about what George thinks he sees is great. Kramer giving Dwayne the guilt trip about getting him off of sugar is a fun moment too. Relationship Grade: Commando 8/10

What Worked

Justin: When George shows up in those damned goggles and Kramer says “Rock On” and Jerry makes the tunneling comment, it set the stage for greatness to come; Anytime we get to know a Kramer friend, it is a good thing; Jerry ignoring the pained Elaine and tossing the tissue at her dismissively was great; I adore the scene where George tries to name drop Kramer, so awkward and great; “No shot, dog bite!”; George eating the onion always makes me laugh out loud and Jerry’s line about eating onions and spotting dimes is one of my favorites; “Right this way, Mr. Doody” gets me every time too; Kramer harassing Dwayne is so tremendous and it is followed by Jerry’s killer “Elton” and canasta lines; Kramer just tossing the AC unit in the window is the best; Also, Kramer’s “Madame” line is so great, especially as it leads right into the Gloria Vanderbilt collection discovery; Elaine’s rabies explosion would have been over the top if executed by anyone except her and the doctor’s deadpan “yes, very much” about the impending pain of the shot was well done; The AC slamming into the dog was a great payoff; Dwayne munching on a candy bar at the end of the episode was a nice touch; Uncle Leo’s pride of Jeffrey never fails to please; The reveal of the cop and the horse was a nice wrap on that story too, especially with the “Jeffrey looks like a horse” comment from earlier

Aaron: I think the whole sequence in Jerry’s apartment where George is being shamed for having women’s glasses and Elaine is researching rabies is exactly why the show is awesome. All four main players are working towards separate goals but they all intersect hilariously. George is humiliated, Elaine has rabies and Kramer is needling them both. “Yeah she has rabies like my friend Bob Sacamano,” is said with the perfect amount of casual contempt we’ve come to expect from these assholes. I love that George continues to eat the onion even after he realizes what it is, and his look of defeat upon entering with the goggles is magic. I’ve always been a big fan of both Jerry and George recalling the spotting of the raccoons complete with complimentary snapping. And I’m always a huge fan of Uncle Leo who not only screamed about what friends are but also informed us that Jeffrey’s favorite animal is the leopard.

Andrew: The foreign doctor really cracked me up (“Woof woof, not bang bang”). Elaine flipping out when she thinks she has rabies was quite funny, although I’m on the fence with the foaming at the mouth scene. Kramer calling in his favor with Dwayne was solid. And George turned in a reliably excellent performance. I mentioned these earlier, but the two parts I enjoyed the most were Uncle Leo and the horse at the end.

Jordan: George spotting a dime, then eating an onion two minutes later is a moment I’d actually forgotten about, so it got a laugh from me. Jerry is always awesome when he just trashes George-calling him Elton and asking if he’s tunneling to the center of the earth. Elaine researching rabies and calling Kramer a hipster doofus is more evidence that Elaine is great. Uncle Leo appearances are always welcome. I like the whole womens glasses sidetrack, with Kramer’s great line and pointing out they are from the Gloria Vanderbilt collection. George swapping frames with a blind man, and then whining that they pinch his nose. I like Kramer going after Dwayne like he’s a drug addict.

Jason: Jerry’s revolving door of girlfriends continues. Amy is a bit high maintenance, Jerry has dated worse. You can’t help but laugh at George when he has to wear the prescription goggles. I really enjoyed Elaine thinking she has rabies and Kramer pointing out the symptoms. The name dropping of characters we never meet is always great. Bob Sacamano and Jefferey both get referenced and are never seen on camera through out the entire series.

What Didn’t Work

Justin: How was the dog owner not tracked and brought into some sort of custody, they all seemed pretty lax about it; Jerry is at his most annoying when he is trying to uncover some sort of scam or scheme before finally snapping, just come out and ask it in a normal way Jerome; If it is so hot why is Jerry dressed like it is winter; Jerry trying not to laugh while nailing the awesome onions and dimes line almost killed it;

Aaron: How did Jerry know the cable number so quickly? It was god damn instantaneous. Does he call them that often? I’m also not a huge fan of the “want to get some pizza?” Which bookends the episode.

Andrew: I can’t really think of anything, but what’s up with those gym lockers? Why do we need a narrower compartment at the top/bottom? Seems like a waste of space to me.

Jordan: I liked Elaine fretting over rabies, but the whole dog thing is stupid really. The guy just casually walks away when it bites Elaine, then an air conditioner falls on it? Dumb.

Jason: Jerry is known for laughing at his own jokes and he does it here with the George spotting dimes and eating the onion stuff.. I also think that George’s glasses he thinks he lost are spotted on top of the locker wasn’t the best way to end the show.

Key Character Debuts

– Dwayne, the glasses salesman

Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes

– “Is it a good one?” – Jerry “Good one? It’s the Commando 8.” – Kramer “Commando 8?” – Jerry “12.000 BTUs.” – Kramer

– “I gotta get out of this city.” – George “So you’re tunneling to the center of the Earth?” – Jerry

– “I broke ’em playing basketball.” – George “He was running from a bee.” – Jerry

– “We’re behind you, Aquaboy. Godspeed!” – Jerry

– “Retail is for suckers!” – Kramer

– “Kramer…” – George “What about him?” – Dwayne “You do know Kramer?” – George “Yes…” – Dwayne “Well, I’m mentioning his name.” – George

– “Are you kidding? I’ve seen ’em squint. He can squint his way down to like twenty, thirty vision. Once we were driving down from the Catskills and he lost his glasses. He squinted his way from Wortsborough down to the Tappan Zee Bridge! He was spotting raccoons, on the road!” – Jerry

– “There’s nothing to tell.” – Amy “There isn’t?” – Jerry “No.” – Amy “Oh… all right… wanna get some pizza?” – Jerry

– “I was squinting! Remember that drive from Wortsborough? I was spotting those raccoons.” – George “They were mailboxes, you idiot. I didn’t have the heart to tell you.” – Jerry

– “Snowball? You were afraid of Snowball?” – Jerry “I’m afraid of dogs now.” – George “He’s like a squirrel.” – Jerry “He frightened me!” – Elaine

– “Now I don’t believe this. That guy owes me big time. I got him off sugar!” – Kramer

– “Little Snowball? He runs on batteries!” – Kramer

– “He couldn’t tell an apple from an onion and he’s your eye witness?” – Elaine “I saw them making out, you can believe it.” – George “I don’t know what to believe! You’re eating onions, you’re spotting dimes, I don’t know what the hell is going on.” – Jerry

– “I’m gonna surprise Amy. All I gotta do is bring her with me. And then when Jeffrey opens the door, it’s Howdy Doody time.” – Jerry “Right this way, mister Doody!” – Kramer

– “Six months ago you were eating four of those for breakfast and chasing it with a ring ding. And two butter fingers on the train. Sounds familiar?” – Kramer “Put that away!” – Dwayne “Remember that night I found you at Dinky Donuts? You were all hopped up on cinnamon swirls! They wouldn’t serve you anymore! You wouldn’t even have any teeth if it wasn’t for me taking you over to Joe’s fruit stand and stuff a cantaloupe down your throat! So much for gratitude… yeah, yeah, yeah!” – Kramer “All right, all right, all right! I’ll give him the discount, just put that thing away! This squares us.” – Dwayne

– “I don’t know what to tell you, Elton.” – Jerry

– “They’re ladies’ glasses! All you need is that little chain around your neck so you can wear ’em while you’re playing Canasta.” – Jerry

– “12.000 BTU’s of raw cooling power!” – Kramer

– “I’ve got such a headache. Oh, that’s another symptom!” – Elaine “Of what?” – Kramer “Rabies.” – Jerry “Oh that’s fatal, you don’t want that!” – Kramer

– “May I have one of those, madam?” – Kramer “Madame? What are you calling me madam for?” – George “They’re ladies’ glasses…Now look here, see it’s right here: Gloria Vanderbilt Collection.” – Kramer

– “Well, I’m very mysterious by nature…A lot of women find that attractive.” – Jerry “I find it annoying.” – Amy

– “I’m supposed to tape this nature show for him, he loves nature. Botany, zoology. You know his botany teacher from college stays in close touch with him? They became friends!” – Uncle Leo “Oh really?” – Jerry “That’s pretty rare! I mean, actual friends! Like equals! They have dinner together, they have discussings…” – Uncle Leo

– “You know Jeffrey’s favorite animal: the leopard.” – Uncle Leo “Why is that?” – Amy “He likes the spots.” – Uncle Leo

Oddities & Fun Facts

– Kramer has a friend named Dwayne that sells glasses

– Actor Tim Stack portrays Dwayne

– Kramer references Joe’s Fruit Stand and Dinky Donuts

Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)

Justin: This has always been one of my favorite episodes. The one liners beating on George’s eyewear are fantastic and I never get enough of Kramer beating Dwayne into submission over the discount. I love the air conditioner stuff too, with Kramer just plopping it in the window and walking away. Everything moved seamlessly and I liked the way everything paid off at the end too. Even the rabies stuff could have come off hokey, but Elaine made it work, natch. The f’n Gloria Vanderbilt Collection! Final Grade: 8/10

Aaron: Man it was very good until we hit that apartment scene and then it just took off. Great stuff from everyone. Great writing and a wonderful grasp on who these characters are by all involved. Everyone was cast into situations where they could be at their best. George is conniving and ashamed, Elaine is panicked and incensed, Kramer nails all the lines which push everyone a little closer to that edge and Jerry’s his callous self. It’s a great episode. Final Grade: 8/10

Andrew: I don’t think I’ve ever heard this episode mentioned as one of the classics, but it’s just so entertaining. The dimes/onions line and Uncle Leo have always been the most memorable parts for me, but I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and it’s full of good dialogue. I’m not sure what more you can ask for. Final Grade: 7/10 

Jordan: I was actually expecting something else with this episode. Going by the title, I thought it was the episode where Jerry has to wear the hideous glasses and buys gum from Lloyd Braun. This was a good substitute though, and a really fun episode that seems to be forgotten. I loved George mistaking Jerry’s girlfriend for an old cop kissing her horse. Kramer is on fire, Elaine has great delivery, and Jerry just watches it all happen as a snide commentator. Perfect formula for good Seinfeld.  Final Grade: 8/10

Jason: A solid episode here. A lot going on. We get classic Kramer animation when he tries to catch the air conditioner from falling out of the window. Elaine is also great when she thinks she has rabies. It’s always a plus anytime we get an episode with Uncle Leo, especially when he references Jeffery. This is a forgotten episode sometimes and has a lot crammed into one episode, but it all works. Again, I’m not a fan of the end with George’s glasses being spotted on top of the locker. That takes away a little from an episode that has plenty of laughs. Final Grade: 7/10